half of the world

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Went to an old mosque today, the Atiq Jameh Mosque:

Atiq Jameh Mosque outside

It didn’t seem very special at first, as it was basically just a large square with some adjacent arches, similar to many other mosques I had seen before:

square of Atiq Jameh Mosque

But the inside was spectacular:

inside of Atiq Jameh Mosque

These pillars, albeit being made from stone and not from wood, reminded me of the Juma Mosque in Khiva.

Parts of the mosque were still in use:

parts of Atiq Jameh Mosque that are still in use

And there were large vaults under the mosque where people could get together to talk, read, and have tea:

vaults under Atiq Jameh Mosque

There were old wall paintings in those vaults:

wall painting under Atiq Jameh Mosque

A security guard showed me around:

security guard at Atiq Jameh Mosque

And a caretaker gave me tea:

caretaker of Atiq Jameh Mosque

I could not get enough of the old halls, some of which were more than one thousand years old:

pillars of Atiq Jameh Mosque

There was an old dome where the light played with the walls:

dome of Atiq Jameh Mosque

And it felt as if the Silk Road had met Medieval Gothic:

light

I was told that, as a general rule for any mosque, all of these skylights looked different from each other, meaning that they each had their own individual design and shape:

birds on top of Atiq Jameh Mosque

It meant to show that there was no uniformity in God’s creation.

security guard in Atiq Jameh Mosque

I liked that thought.

And I liked Isfahan. There was apparently an ancient Persian saying that went: “Isfahan is half of the world”. Because it was just so beautiful.

I ran into a group of photographers outside of the mosque:

photographers

They fit perfectly into Isfahan.

One of them had a tattoo of what I figured to be a wolf of some sort:

tattoo

Then I ran into Sarah from Australia:

Sarah

She had come to the city to visit her family. We walked through the Grand Bazaar together:

gate of the Grand Bazaar

I found it very interesting, mainly because it seemed to be a network of connecting alleys instead of a large hall like in most other places.

So I went happily snapping away:

mother with child

Of course there were chador shops:

Cloac Arabic Collegiate

And there was what appeared to be Chuckie in a chador:

chuckie

But there were also shops that sold more revealing garments:

kid

And toys:

teddy

And hats:

hats

And spices:

spices

And more spices:

more spices

We walked around until the bazaar became quiet:

Grand Bazaar at night

Until it became dark:

Grand Bazaar closing

Then we arrived at the large Naghsh-e Jahan Square, the former Shah Square:

young people

We said goodbye, and I ran into Barbara and Franz from Germany:

Barbara and Franz

We decided that the night was young and the water in the pool on the square was perfectly still, so we went into a picture taking frenzy.

Here’s the Ali Qapu Palace and its reflection:

Ali Qapu Palace at night

Here’s the Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque with some random dudes:

Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque at night

And here it is with me:

Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque and me

It all seemed a bit too beautiful to be true:

night shot with a reflection

But then it was Isfahan.
Half of the world.



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